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Wild put up season-high 46 shots on Avalanche but lose, 5-2

Sarah McLellan, Star Tribune on

Published in Hockey

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The fourth line continuing to have an impact after leading the Wild to victory a game earlier was impressive.

But what was missing for the Wild in a 5-2 loss to the Avalanche on Thursday at Xcel Energy Center was what they could have used most, and that was a bigger boost from their best players.

Joel Eriksson Ek hurled seven pucks at the net, Matt Boldy and Mats Zuccarello combined for 11, and Kirill Kaprizov had another 11 shot attempts.

Their lone break-through, though, was a power-play goal from Declan Chisholm that Kaprizov and Zuccarello set up during a second period the Wild dominated without closing the gap on the scoreboard.

Instead, Colorado held onto that narrow lead until MVP candidate Nathan MacKinnon stretched it when he capitalized off the rush 6:32 into the third period and Mikko Rantanen dumped the puck into an empty net with 1:28 to go.

Avalanche backup goalie Justus Annunen finished with 44 saves off a season-high 46 shots from the Wild while improving to 7-4-1.

 

Filip Gustavsson racked up 30 stops for the Wild, who suffered just their third regulation loss in their last 14 games with seven left on their schedule.

The Wild were chasing Colorado early, getting behind on a five-hole shot by Artturi Lehkonen off a rebound only 4:34 into the first period.

Vinni Lettieri answered back at 8:05 with a shot from the right circle for his second goal in as many games after shedding a 26-game drought; his linemates Mason Shaw and Jake Lucchini picked up an assist each on the play after the line scored twice — including Lettieri's game-winner — to help the Wild overcome Ottawa 3-2 on Tuesday.

But a pair of goals from Jonathan Drouin dropped the Wild into a deficit they wouldn't climb out of despite how frequently they had the puck in Avalanche territory.

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